So I’ve long been fantasizing about making a living as a sex educator, with a number of possible projects from a sex education “textbook” for adults to a non-profit organization. But one thing I want to recommend, for adults who are need of some continuing sexuality education, is scarleteen.com. I know a lot of adults recommend this to young people as a sex education resource, but it turns out, it’s a damn good website even for grownups (especially those of us who were victims of abstinence-only!) I was doing some hand mirror explorations this weekend of my (somewhat rare in a few ways) anatomy and I found Scarleteen to be an excellent resource.
Archive for the ‘education’ Category
Tags: anatomy, resources, sex & relationships, sex education
Tags: BDSM, coming out, community, kink, queer, sex, sex & relationships
I’ve written before about the coming out model and how it falls flat, especially in the developing world, because it’s very much based on Western notions on gender and sexuality (and specifically American/European, white, middle class notions). But it’s also a pretty shitty model in the US, and I think it leads to a lot of problems because queer people end up with the expectation that there should be one formative moment, the “coming out” moment, and then they should know their sexuality, and if they change identifiers, or deviate in terms of who they date or have sex with, it’s a bad thing. Words like “confused,” and more harshly, “betrayal,” come to mind.
The same is true, I think, in kinky communities. I’ve come across this idea a number of times that a kinky person is supposed to go through a certain progression in terms of sexual awareness. First there are inklings that one might like some type of kinky sex, whether very early on or later. Then there’s the research phase, these days probably mostly online. Then, at some point, there’s an expectation that you go out into that kinky community, meet people, possibly at sex-free social events, but at some point there is a critical threshold that leads to Comfort at Play Parties.
Of course, not everyone falls into this model. If you don’t it can be frustrating, for example, to mention that you haven’t actually had very kinky sex before and then have recommendations for 101 resources thrown at you. Well-meaning, certainly, and the resources may be great, but I always find it kind of funny. Kinky awareness is not the same thing as kinky activity.
It’s also a bad idea to suggest to someone that public scening is a natural point in the kinky progression, and that if they aren’t comfortable with this sort of space, they just haven’t “arrived” in their kinky evolution. Not everyone is comfortable with public sex or scening. Even very sex-positive, sex-aware people can prefer to engage in sex only in private, or only in relationships, or both. There are many, many ways to skin a cat.
Tags: communication, etiquette, sex, Southern
It’s difficult for many women to communicate about sex. No big surprise there. But is it more difficult for Southern women?
I wouldn’t be surprised if the answer were yes.
Of course, you have the obvious reasons. Little or no sex education means that people are just assumed to know how to have sex, without talking about it. Women in particular are taught that talking about sex is shameful and inappropriate. Southern law discourages any interference in the silent space of the marriage bed–it’s no coincidence that North Carolina was the last state in the country to make marital rape illegal, in the mid 1990s.
But I would posit that Southern manners, good old Southern hospitality, are also to blame for this phenomenon.
Southerners, and especially Southern women, are taught that it is better to be seen and not heard, that one should always defer to a guest, that when something desireable is offered it is polite to say “no, thank you” twice and only accept on the third offering. I find myself wondering, when thinking about communication and sex, if these general rules on manners might bleed over into how Southern women behave in bed. If a partner is not insistent on finding out how to please a Southern woman, will she have the courage to ask outright, rather than deferring to the partner’s desires in an instinctual show of politesse? I think that many of us who were raised as little girls in the South probably inherited this difficulty, whether we have overcome it or not.